More cyclists counted using network

Dunedin cyclist Russell McGarry had the Portsmouth Dr shared path more or less to himself at lunchtime yesterday, but says that is increasingly unusual. Photo by Peter McIntosh
Dunedin cyclist Russell McGarry had the Portsmouth Dr shared path more or less to himself at lunchtime yesterday, but says that is increasingly unusual. Photo by Peter McIntosh
Cyclist numbers are on the rise on Portsmouth Dr since new cycleways have been made in the area, in apparent opposition to claims nobody in Dunedin cycles.

As part of the South Dunedin Cycle Network project, permanent counters were installed in February to monitor cycle numbers.

A recent report to the Dunedin City Council's infrastructure services committee said staff installed two of the counters on main cycle commuter routes at North Rd, in Northeast Valley, and Portsmouth Dr.

Senior transportation planner Lisa Clifford said North Rd was installed as a control site because the council has not been making any improvements to the cycle network in that area.

Over winter, when staff would expect to see a drop in cycle numbers, as occurred on North Rd, Portsmouth Dr had had a significant increase in the number of people cycling, she said.

''Earlier this year, we were regularly seeing up to 400 cycle movements a day, yet in June we regularly [had] over 500 movements, and on a couple of days there [were] over 800 cycle movements recorded.''

She noted the new routes already built in the South Dunedin cycle network provided off-road connections to Portsmouth Dr.

Some commentators have recently been critical of the city council's investment in cycling, including businessman Russell Fewtrell, who this week said the council was too focused on cyclists ''but there are no cyclists''.

The council's finding was backed by cyclist Russell McGarry yesterday, who said he cycled the Portsmouth Dr route most days at present while in training for an event.

There had been a noticeable increase in the number of people using the route this year, he said, particularly since the path along that part of the road was widened.

''I think it was money well spent.''

While not a commuter through that area himself, he said he sometimes returned from a ride around the peninsula later in the day and the route became ''exceptionally'' busy with commuters from about 4.30pm.

debbie.porteous@odt.co.nz

Validity?

This "increase" would have validity if it said

a) how many cyclist joined this existing cycleway from the new network.
b)  the actual surveys had any merit apart from picking random days in random seasons.

 

 

Meaning

Hype.O.Thermia - you read "bring in" as transport. I think a broader meaning of this idiom is generally understood by most.

 

Moved to tyres

To my bemusement skinhat asserts "...cycle networks ... are a lot cheaper to build than other infrastructure like freeways or stadiums or museums. They probably also bring in a lot more tourists than a museum or stadium."  This may be true in many other countries but not in NZ.  Since passenger ships were replaced as the main means of overseas travel, though still used within NZ in the form of the inter-island ferries, aeroplanes have brought in more tourists than cycles or railways.  Museums and stadiums can at times offer transports of delight to those who visit them on a good day.  Be that as it may, they are however noted for their stolid locational immobility.

I can count

 

Today whilst out and about I spotted not one, but two cyclists. They seemed like office worker types, all sweaty and earnest doing the going somewhere thing that this rare group engages in around Dunedin.
No it wasn't on Portsmouth Drive, but the one way instead.
Has anyone done surveys on this subject ie numbers, times, directions in Dunedin rather than following the cargo cult, overseas survey stuff?
I really had to pinch myself. [Abridged]

 

Numbers

One has to marvel at the focus of some of the negative comments on these cycle-way articles. Taking issue with the routes chosen, or with the way in which our communities have been involved in decision making processes is one thing. However, comments against the establishment of routes in general are backwards, embarassing, and sometimes even frightening.

A modern city requires safe and useful provisions for bicycle commuting. If it does not have this then the city is neither modern, nor will it have many commuting cyclists. N.B. there will be more cyclists when cycling is safe and easy. 

Personally I am a recent convert to cycle commuting, and it is precisely the widening of the cycle lanes that has made it a viable option for me. It is healthy, cheap and (during peak traffic) faster than driving.

Cycle networks well used

Googling, I dont see any cases where a cycle network is built and it's underused or is idle. Overseas they are always popular. It's understandable with high fuel prices, people wanting to stay fit and a lot of traffic congestion. I don't understand the dislike some people have for cycle networks. They are a lot cheaper to build than other infrastructure like freeways or stadiums or museums. They probably also bring in a lot more tourists than a museum or stadium and are a lot more used.

One cyclist

One cyclist. wow. Well, I guess that is a significant increase from zero. Great reporting ODT, how many hours did you have to wait until one went past?

How about a comparrison to how many motor vehicle movements there are on a daily basis along the same stretch of road? That way people could do all the fancy math and work out these millions of dollars are being wasted on a tiny (yet surprisingly vocal) portion of the city.

Or, how about the percentage of cyclists compared to the number of people who will lose their jobs when the businesses threatening to leave town actually do go?

Much more scary numbers. 

 

Yeah right

Cool. If there's that many people using this path, perhaps we need to issue licence plates and regos to them so that they can help pay for the increasing infrastructure they want.  Unless user pays doesn't apply to cyclists.

 

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